The Lunch Tray

Bettina Elias Siegel
All things kids and food—from school meal policy to picky eating help—by the author of "Kid Food" and creator of the popular Lunch Tray blog. Welcome!
Created 29 Dec 2020
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  • School Meal Programs Are Running on Fumes
    13 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 0
    Back in 2010, when I first became interested in school food reform, I was quite critical of the people serving sub-par meals in my children’s district. But after years of working more closely with tho...
  • Another Pandemic Harm: Increased Childhood Obesity
    06 Sep 2021 • < 1 min read
    [Hope everyone is enjoying Labor Day! I’d normally postpone publication until tomorrow, but I’ll be offline for Rosh Hashanah. Shana tova to those who celebrate! 🍯 🍎 ] “[T]he numbers are shocking an...
  • An Alarming Rise in Childhood Type 2 Diabetes
    30 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 2
    A new study published in JAMA finds that the number of children aged 10 to 19 with type 2 diabetes increased by a relative 95.3% since 2001—i.e., the rate essentially doubled in that time. The disease...
  • Welcome News on Childhood Hunger
    23 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read
    Let’s kick off the week with some much-needed good news: First, newly released U.S. Census Bureau data shows that the first round of payments from the Biden administration’s Child Tax Credit has led t...
  • Keeping Food-Allergic Kids Safe During Covid
    09 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 0
    As the Delta variant rages around the country, parents are understandably concerned about schools reopening in the fall. But until I read this recent article from Allergic Living, it hadn’t occurred t...
  • The First One Thousand Days
    02 Aug 2021 • < 1 min read • 1 0
    The first 1,000 days of a baby’s life—i.e., the beginning of pregnancy through the child’s second year—have long been recognized as critical period that profoundly shapes a child’s intellectual and ph...
  • The Hidden Cost of Free School Meals
    26 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read • 2 0
    California and Maine have garnered glowing press for recently becoming the first two states in the country to provide free school meals to all students, regardless of family income.1 (See, e.g., PBS N...
  • Another Reason to Limit Kids' Sugar-Sweetened Beverages?
    12 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read
    You may have read about the alarming rise in colon cancer among young people. Now a new study offers one possible explanation for the trend. As described last week in the New York Times, researchers l...
  • California and Maine Make School Meals Free For All
    06 Jul 2021 • < 1 min read
    [Due to the July 4th (observed) holiday, this week’s issue of The Lunch Tray is being published on a Tuesday. We’ll resume our regular Monday schedule next week.] The biggest kid/food news last week: ...
  • The Latest on the UK Junk Food Ad Ban
    28 Jun 2021 • < 1 min read
    In past newsletters, I’ve periodically mentioned an effort in the UK to reduce childhood obesity by banning all online advertising for products high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) and banning televisio...